Associated Press

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

16 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 12, Rays 1: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and Miguel Andujar and Luke Voit also went deep as the Yankees routed the Rays and all but ensured themselves home field in the Wild Card game. The talk of the game, however, was CC Sabathia hitting Jesus Sucre and getting ejected two innings short of what was all but certain to be his $500K bonus-triggering 155th inning pitched. Which while maybe not the single dumbest instance of unwritten rules enforcement ever — I’ll reserve that title for such acts which cost a team a game or got someone injured — was certainly the most expensive instance of it. Afterwards Sabathia said he didn’t care, saying “I don’t make decisions based on money, I guess,” and “I felt like it was the right thing to do.” Given that Sabathia has made over $200 million in his career I suppose he won’t miss that bonus.

Rockies 5, Phillies 3: David Dahl homered in his fourth straight game, Trevor Story and Gerardo Parra also went deep, the Rockies won their seventh straight and their lead over the Dodgers in the NL West is now a full game with three left to play. It’s the Rockies longest winning streak of the season. I don’t believe in momentum and I don’t think there is a strong correlation between a team finishing the season hot and going deep in the playoffs, but it’s certainly the case that the Rockies are hot at the right time for purposes of actually getting to the big tournament.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Devin Mesoraco hit a three-run homer and Kevin Plawecki hit a solo shot to back Jason Vargas who tossed seven-shutout innings against a shorthanded Braves lineup. Atlanta rested Freddie Freeman and Ender Inciarte, Dansby Swanson is still out with an injury and the Braves talked about Julio Teheran‘s start as if it were a mere tuneup for the playoffs. Which is fine I suppose, but it’s also the case that they need to make up a game on the Rockies and/or the Dodgers in the next three days to avoid starting the NLDS on the road and you’d figure that would be a higher priority.

Royals 2, Indians 1: The Royals season has been eminently forgettable, but Adalberto Mondesi‘s coming out party has been quite a thing. He homered in this one and then, with two out in the tenth, he drew a walk, stole second and third base and then came home with the winning run when Sal Perez hit a walkoff single. Mondesi has stole 30 bases in only 72 games and, while that walk was only the ninth of the season and his OBP could be better, he has been an exciting presence in a game that, of late, has not been particularly exciting.

Cubs 3, Pirates 0: Jon Lester tossed six shutout innings, David Bote tripled in two runs and Daniel Murphy knocked in a third. The win gives Chicago a one-game lead in the NL Central with three to play. The three the Cubs have to play come against the Cardinals, which is a taller order than the three Milwaukee has to play against the Tigers.

Twins 9, Tigers 3:  Willians Astudillo had a two-run single and a two-run double to lead the Twins attack. Tyler Austin drove in three. Astudillo is a late season callup who is trying to work his way into the Twins plans for 2019. He’s doing a good job of it, batting .357/372/.524 with three homers and 19 RBI in 26 games. Viva La Tortuga.

Rangers 2, Mariners 0: Ariel Jurado blanked Seattle for six innings and three Texas relievers combined to complete the three-hit shutout. Ronald Guzman singled in one of Texas’ runs and Isiah Kiner-Falefa took a bases-loaded plunking to knock in the second. The Rangers have won five of their last six against the Mariners.

Astros vs. Orioles — POSTPONED:

Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son?

Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one?

I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’

I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest

Where the people are many and their hands are all empty

Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters

Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison

Where the executioner’s face is always well hidden

Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten

Where black is the color, where none is the number

And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it

And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it

Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’

But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’

And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard

It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

Astros
AP Images
20 Comments

Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.